Mark Hamel’s “Kaizen Event Fieldbook” is an excellent addition to the library of Lean literature. Don’t let the title fool you though, there is more to this book than just the technical details behind a kaizen event.
The book definitely delivers on the myriad of details for progressing through the different phases of a kaizen event. Instead of just explaining what to do, the author provides the reason why it is done. The book’s emphasis on the thinking behind the actions is valuable for Lean leaders, facilitators, and consultants . While there are a lot of similarities to how my organization conducts events, it is nice to see the differences recommended by the book.
There are many great tables and visuals throughout the book. A few of my favorites are the decision tree for what should be a kaizen event, a table with nine symptoms of event malpractice, and a team behavioral audit for the facilitator. There is also an exhaustive appendix with blank forms to use for kaizen events.
In addition to the technical details, the book has a lot of insight for transformational leadership. I enjoyed the different short stories in the “gemba tales”. I like to learn how others teach Lean concepts and the book has an excellent chapter where the author does just that. I am glad the book also discusses the need for daily kaizen and what that looks like in relation to kaizen events. Lastly, there is an outstanding section about the role of a kaizen promotion office and the core competencies of those who work in it.
The “Kaizen Event Fieldbook” is a book I open often and refer to. I highly recommend it.
Mark Hamel writes a great blog at http://kaizenfieldbook.com/marksblog/ and can be found on twitter as @markrhamel.
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